Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Have you hard about mindfulness-based stress reduction or MBSR? Holiday periods, while often fun and exciting, can be stressful. Worry and anxiety can flood your brain with cortisol, which can negatively impact your memory. MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the U of Massachusetts Medical School.  The focus of MBST is for the individual to figure out the things that cause stress in their life (some of which may be exaggerated out of proportion to reality) and learn to respond to them in a more empowered manner, rather than becoming quickly overwhelmed by them. When you feel stessed, take a ten minute break. Sit quietly and become mindful of what is happening in your brain and body. Start at your toes and move slowly up to your brain. Become aware of any areas of discomfort, your breathing, what you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. If you begin worrying about the past or future, acknowledge the thought but avoid dwelling on it. Gently return to being mindful of what is happening in your brain and body. After the break, resume your normal activity.  When you identify a stressor, ask yourself what difference it will make in 12 months? If none, let it go. If it will make a difference, calmly craft a strategy to deal with it.

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